Television personality and best-­selling author Gina Neely and “Food Network Star” finalist Jay D. Ducote will launch the Celebrity Chef Series at Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The 90-minute Eat & Greet event is free and open to the public.

Neely and then-husband Pat Neely starred on the Food Network’s “Down Home with the Neelys” from 2008 to 2014. The show became the highest rated series debut in the history of the network’s “In the Kitchen” block.

She also co-authored her first cookbook, “Down Home with the Neelys,” which quickly earned a place on The New York Times bestseller list; and the subsequent “Back Home with the Neelys.”

Neely will open the casino’s celebrity chef series as she shares a step-­by-­step guide to preparing two appetizers. Guests can sample the dishes and Neely will hold a question-and-answer session. She will also meet guests and sign autographs at the conclusion of the program.

Ducote, who finished second in the 2015 “Food Network Star” competition on the food channel, is the founder of Bite and Booze, a culinary media company; hosts a blog,, and a radio show that airs locally on Talk 107.3 FM at 5 p.m. Saturdays.

A VIP dinner will follow the 2 p.m. event. Names of patrons who dine in the Celebrity Grill by Friday will be entered into a drawing for two passes to the dinner and $250 in Slotplay. Entries must be dropped off in Center Stage from 2-3:15 p.m. Saturday.

Neely will draw one winner for each of the three seatings (4:30, 6:15 and 8 p.m.) and the winners must be present at the time of the drawing.

Advance tickets are not required, but attendance is limited to the first 400 guests.

For more information call (800)?447-­6843 or visit